Compaq has formed an internetworking products group, headed by Doug Pushard, to lead the company's charge into the networking and internetworking arenas. Before he became vice-president of the new group, Pushard was manager of Unix systems marketing. Daniel Lyons spoke with Pushard about how Compaq plans to compete with networking giants and how it will integrate NetWorth and Thomas-Conrad products into its line.
Australian Reseller News: Are customers dissatisfied with the networking products they're buying from Cisco, Bay Networks, 3Com, and others?
PUSHARD: It's not that they're dissatisfied with the products. But they're dissatisfied with the costs. They're caught in an environment of downward pressure on their budgets. They're trying to do more for fewer dollars. Customers will be able to buy more products from Compaq that have been tested and integrated with each other, lowering their cost on the initial purchase and also lowering the cost from a maintenance and testing standpoint.
ARN: How far along are you in integrating Thomas-Conrad and NetWorth into the Compaq fold?
PUSHARD: We're rolling their products into the Compaq product line fairly quickly, over the next quarter or so. We're getting them into the Compaq worldwide manufacturing and distribution system. Getting them into the Compaq manufacturing system will provide cost benefits.
ARN: Thomas-Conrad and NetWorth both have network management products, as does Compaq. How will you reconcile those?
PUSHARD: That was one area where we were concerned that there might be some overlap. But in reality, the three companies have taken very different approaches. The three strategies have a lot of synergies and not a lot of overlap. Right now we're evaluating the technologies and will announce a strategy in the next several months.
ARN: How will you encourage resellers to sell your networking products, not other vendors' products?
PUSHARD: First of all, we'll have to have best of breed products. Also, if a reseller chooses a total solution from Compaq, he or she can really cut down on the resources he or she spends on integrating and testing solutions, since Compaq will take on that test effort.
ARN: What is the biggest challenge you face?
PUSHARD: Managing the integration of the two acquisitions into Compaq while at the same time continuing to push the products that we're currently shipping.
ARN: Have you made all the acquisitions you're going to make?
PUSHARD: I can't comment on that. What I can say is that we have a fairly broad product offering, and what we need to do now is execute, execute, execute.